Disabling Firefox shortcuts on OS X

I joined a startup, and they gave me a MacBook Pro. It was bound to happen eventually; all the cool kids use MBPs and startups are cool, right?

The great period of adaption began, as I learned I couldn’t have simple technology like sloppy focus. One of the greatest inconveniences is the keyboard. I have a hard time using the keyboard on the laptop because special keys are in different places than I’m used to. Even with a Unicomp Spacesaver M (for those of us attached to the Model M), some change is apparent, like Apple using “delete” when they mean “backspace” (The Unicomp uses “delete ->” when they mean “delete”).

Most frustrating of this set of issues is that in Firefox the home and end keys go to the top and bottom of the page, whereas you have to use cmd+left and cmd+right to go to the beginning and end of a line in a textbox. However sometimes these keys represent page forward and page back, and sometimes they don’t (usually in a flash app, I believe). The solution is to install the keyconfig extension. After you restart firefox, you will find it in the Tools menu where you can disable “GoBackKb” and “GoForwardKb”. Then these keys work as expected in a text box and you no longer find yourself going back a page unintentionally, possibly losing a textbox full of input along the way.

One thought on “Disabling Firefox shortcuts on OS X

  1. afiler

    I used KeyRemap4MacBook to map the Command and Option keys on the right of the spacebar as Home and End keys on my MacBook. It’s awesomely useful. I also remapped the eject key to (“forward”) delete.

    For Cocoa apps, you can also change keybindings by adding things to ~/Library/KeyBindings/DefaultKeyBinding.dict, and since this is a BSD, lots of things (including Ruby) use editline instead of readline, which means remappings are done in .editrc instead of .inputrc.

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